Wemberlee

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Got there at last. The new Wemberlee, that is. After seeing the last club game at the old stadium, my favourite neighbour got me a ticket for, er, the second England game at the new one. And it really is a good venue. What’s more, the criticism I have heard (mainly about the price of the catering) seemed a little exaggerated. Shame about the result.

Danny Baker’s All-Day Breakfast Show

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Danny Baker, a long-time hero, looks like he may be the person who makes the breakthrough for podcasting with the first non-niche show I know of that’s independent of a traditional broadcaster but makes enough money to stand on its own feet. He tells the story of how it came about in these interviews here: Part One | Part Two

Fascinating stuff, and Dan remains as amiable as ever. I really enjoy the show, and will be happy to join the ranks of subscribers when they start to charge for it, real soon now. But I do have some issues with it. When the show began, in a series of pilot broadcasts, Danny definitely “got it”, perhaps because of his claimed ignorance of the whole online scene. He realised that nobody was listening as he broadcast, and that every listener would be listening in the future. He even made the concept sound a bit spooky. I think he thought it through, although probably didn’t take that train of thought to its conclusion, which was that some people would always join in from the beginning of the series, and that for any given show, people might be listening to it years, not just hours down the line. I’ve not heard a correspondent on the show yet who’s said: “Has anyone already mentioned this in the 15 shows between where I’ve got up to and today’s show that I’m speaking on (or my email’s being read out on)?”

When the show began, Danny was careful not to keep talking about times and dates, an approach which is central to keeping a podcast fresh. But he’s let this slip, and now it’s “Hi everyone, it’s Thursday lunchtime”, or “We’ll be back on Monday”. No it isn’t, and no you won’t, Dan. Well, not for us. As a listener, I don’t want to be reminded that I’m listening to a recording. I can – and will – make the programme seem live in my mind, as long as you don’t keep reminding me that I’m three weeks behind (which is what I am, currently, and guess what? It doesn’t matter). Similarly, while references to current events are unavoidable, there’s no point in drawing attention to them, or plugging them, and the show has done well on this point so far. But if one-off guests (like the great Peter Serafinowicz) ever start to become commonplace, the show needs to remember that plugging stuff which will be in the past for an ever-increasing number of listeners (think about it) is pointless, and indeed annoying.

What I’d like to hear are references to future events (e.g predictions) which many listeners will hear after the event. Now that would be entertaining.

A man likes milk, now he owns a million cows

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Scary. Last Wednesday night I noticed the Was (Not Was) album Out Come the Freaks on eMusic – an album I adored 20 years ago, and have probably not listened to in 15 years. It considerably lightened up an early-morning train journey to London, where I was meeting long-time business partner Andy, amongst others. I arrived in the office humming the title track, and was in a good mood for the morning. I mentioned the album to someone as I was walking into the meeting, but not to Andy.

Fast forward to this morning, and an email comes in from Andy: “Interesting day yesterday. Met up with some … distant relatives [including] Don Was, the legendary record producer and bassist with Was Not Was…”

Mitre Championship Video

This is great fun, a new promo from Mitre for their championship footballs, featuring loads of Championship players spoofing other footy virals and taking the piss out of themselves. It might as well have been called “Play Me On Constant Rotation On Soccer AM”. Starts off with the mighty Danny Haynes not quite being Ronaldinho! Isn’t it strange how your brain automatically interprets these things with your own bias though? I thought: “That was quite clever of Danny to have done that”, but when it came on to the Norwich segment, I immediately thought “Ha ha, nobody wants Huckerby”, and on the Colyoo part, “Ha ha, they have to practice in the street ‘cos they haven’t got a proper ground”. I really need to get a life.

Ian Holloway, as ever, is great value.

Simpsons Avatar: Web App of the Week

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Thanks to The Simpsons Movie website for the chance to create my own character, Simpsons-stylee. Truly great movie, everything I’d hoped it would be and more. Despite being well over four times the length of a normal 21-minute episode, it didn’t outstay its welcome at all, and indeed, I could easily have watched more. Hard to pick out the highlights, but like many other people, I loved the bit where, hearing about their imminent doom, the church congregation all rushes out to Moe’s Bar next door, whilst the occupants of the bar all empty out and run to the church. Genius.

Then there’s the brief but wonderful bit of animation (which features in one of the trailers) where Smithers, standing behind Mr Burns, tries to mime to Apu that he’s saying the wrong thing by appealing to Mr Burns’ conscience. It’s so simple, but I fell about. Movie of the summer. And my 6-year-old loved it too.

Go on, try the character-making thing. You know you want to.